TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (Jan. 27) announced 21 new COVID cases, bringing the total number of infections tied to its 10 Omicron chains of transmission to 381.
During a press conference on Wednesday (Jan. 27), Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, explained that genetic sequencing of samples from various cases has shown that there are 10 independent transmission chains of the Omicron variant in Taiwan.
Of these clusters, the largest number of cases are tied to an outbreak that started at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, with 283 cases. The second-largest Omicron cluster consists of 72 cases that started among ship repair workers at the Port of Kaohsiung.
A cluster infection that was first detected in a dessert chef at the Grand Hotel Taipei on Saturday (Jan. 22) soon spread to five other cases including a real estate agent. On Sunday (Jan. 23) the first of what is now 9 cases tied to the Evergreen Resort Hotel Jiaoxi in Yilan County was first reported.
Lo pointed out that the three hospital Omicron clusters at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital (3 cases), Taipei City Hospital Zhongxing Branch (3 cases), and Taipei City Hospital Renai (2 cases), are also completely independent of each other and the other clusters, bringing the total to seven chains of transmission. The three other transmission chains include an epidemic prevention staff member at the Taoyuan Airport, case No. 17,928, a quarantine taxi driver in Taoyuan, case No. 17,240, and a quarantine taxi driver in Keelung, case No. 18,020.
On Thursday, CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced 21 new local COVID cases. Of these cases, 12 were tied to the airport cluster, eight were connected to the Port of Kaohsiung cluster, and one was reported from the Evergreen Resort Hotel cluster.
Although the Evergreen Resort Hotel is located in Yilan, Chen explained that because the latest infection, case No. 18,636, is a resident of Taoyuan, they are being included in cases reported from that city. In addition, the source of infection for three new cases reported in Taoyuan, case nos. 18,677, 18,687, and 18,686, is not yet known.
They are tentatively being listed under the airport cluster.
(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)